At Wednesday’s senate meeting, emotions flared as 23 senators voted against the dethroning of Mr. Florida A&M University, Cyrah Hawkins.
Ryan Morand, campaign manager for Hawkins and former Mr. FAMU, expressed his concern about the clarity of the statute that is being used as grounds for Hawkins to be removed.
“Who are we truly serving,” Morand said. There is nowhere within the constitution and by-laws that states that Hawkins has broken any constitutional rules, he said.
Morand explained that the constitution does not state the criteria for the grade point average Hawkins must uphold while serving as Mr. FAMU.
“Cyrah is my hero,” Morand said. “He has stood through adversity and walked with a smile”.
In a heated debate between Morand and the senate, questions fizzled throughout the meeting. Some asked if the senate was trying to protect its reputation or if there is a weak link within the organization. Morand said the judicial branch interprets the constitutional statutes but wonders if the branch is wrong.
On the basis of approval, Chief Justice Kendra Rich was brought in to clarify the situation on the duties of the Judicial Branch. “The process before you has never taken place,” Rich said.
Rich said the senate is being held to the constitution; therefore, the senators must hold themselves to it and be clear on the dethroning process. It is the Judicial Branch’s duties to interpret.
“We do not want to be held liable by the university,” Rich said.
As the meeting progressed, the members of the senate began to question why they were left to decide on Hawkins’ fate. “There is no need to impeach; he never had the GPA. Therefore, he never held the position,” said 21-year-old Sen. Candice Elliott, a senior political science student from Orlando.
However, Senate President Ebony Manchion said Hawkins held the position as Mr. FAMU and wore the title in Miami. Because he served as Mr. FAMU, it is a part of the senate’s duties to dethrone him.
The motion to dethrone failed with 23 senators voting against and three abstaining.
The Writ of Injunction filed against Hawkins still stands although he was not dethroned.
Among other things discussed, Kevin Mitchell, a fifth-year pharmacy candidate from Miami, came before the senate in an effort to improve the chances of getting the second phase of the pharmacy building constructed.
Mitchell spoke in hopes of persuading the senate to stand by them.
“Dyson Pharmacy was created for 300 students and is well over 600,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell said the Board of Trustees is pushing the pharmacy program to the bottom of its priority list.
“Pharmacy has already been approved $1 million-plus, and the land has been approved. We just cannot act at the bottom of the list,” Mitchell said.
“It doesn’t look good. It doesn’t look as though we’ll receive accreditation next year.
“We were number five on the list two years ago, now we’re down to number 12. It looks bad, like we’re not doing what we’re supposed to,” said Mitchell.
The school was given permission by former President Fred Humphries to go ahead and begin plans for construction back in 1995. Yet, the program is still awaiting permission to build.
“Accreditation is important, and if we aren’t accredited our graduate students and students about to graduate won’t be able to practice,” Mitchell said.
Another topic brought to the floor was the decision to put SGA Talks back on the air. The radio talk show will last from 12:30 p.m. until 1 p.m. on Wednesdays.
The show will be prerecorded, with sound bites from students expressing their thoughts and concerns.
The hosts will be SGA President Philip Agnew and Vice President Monique Gillum.
“As a team SGA is moving forward,” said Gillum.
Oldine Monestine contributed to this report.